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The Creeds and the Reformation

During many centuries the Creeds were held in high esteem by the churches. where even though the propaganda defines the church as being purely Roman Catholic, other Churches existed. The Koptic church for one, the Byzantine church which still exists today, adding over 5 million Christians to its name.

In the middle ages the Creeds were one of the fixed elements in the catechetical instruction book by the church. Alongside the Ave Maria, the Lords's prayer and the Ten commandments all children had to learn the Apostles Creed. No-one would think of challenging the doctrinal truth and authority of the Creed.

The reformation however, did not bring any change to this point, it simply strove to amplify it, where all the great Reformers from Luther, Zwingli, Melanchthon, Calvin wholeheartedly accepted the Creeds as binding formularies for all ministers and members of the Church.

In preface to his 'The three Symbols or Confession of the Christian Faith' (the Apostles Creed, Athanasian Creed and Te Deum) Luther poised the question why has the church abandoned them for weaker practices :- I have ex abundanti caused to be published together in German the three symbols or Confessions, which have hitherto been held throughout the whole church; by this I testify once and for all that I adhere to the true Christian Church, which, up to now, has maintained those symbols, but not to that false pretentious Church, which is worst enemy of the true Church, and has superstitiously introduced much idolatry along side these beautiful Confessions. (from R.S. Franks, The work of Christ p.283).

As with many church Luther took many articles of faith from scripture and formed small and large catechisms, as the basis of instruction.Ashe said, "God Himself has given the Ten Commandment, Christ has ordained and taught the Lord's Prayer, the Holy Spirit has composed and conceived these articles of faith in the shortest and most correct manner". So at this juncture we cannot help but to refrain from quoting any full length exposition of Luther's, but will add this next time. For all I want to say is that as often as we have been alive as a people, the constant that our sin involves is that we end up walking away from these beautiful things because they upset and interfere with our human nature. Directing us, and telling us that the way we are living is wrong where it is in our very nature to corrupt, to imply that there is something wrong with anything that tells us to the contrary we are wrong.

Hence, as ever we seem to be slipping away from the truths once again where we are sliding towards a slippery slop of untruths, not founded upon scripture nor what we confess as our faith.

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